Inspire Investing unveils first faith-based bond ETF

Jul 11th, 2017 | By | Category: Fixed Income

Silicon Valley-based Inspire Investing has launched the Inspire Corporate Bond Impact ETF (NYSE: IBD), the first ETF to invest in the corporate bonds of companies aligned with biblical values.

Inspire Investing unveils first faith-based bond ETF

The Inspire Corporate Bond Impact ETF is the third faith-based ETF launched by Inspire Investing.

The fund provides a low cost, passively managed means for investors to invest in alignment with Christian values by supporting causes such as clean water projects, Bible distribution, efforts to stop human trafficking, and humanitarian relief for refugees.

“There is extremely robust demand from investors and advisors who want to invest in what they believe in,” said Robert Netzly, president and CEO of Inspire Investing. “IBD fills an important fixed income portion of portfolio options. Before today, there has never been a faith-based ETF in the bond sector, and we’re excited to have developed this choice for investors, advisors, institutions and other faith-based investors.”

The fund’s underlying reference, the Inspire Corporate Bond Impact Equal Weight Index, is comprised of 250 investment grade short-term and intermediate-term corporate bonds issued by large-cap “blue chip” companies in the US which have performed well according to the company’s Impact Score methodology, which measures a company’s perceived positive impact on the world.

The Impact Score process filters publicly available data points related to thousands of companies globally to help investors identify companies which adhere to the Certified Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) standards, an industry benchmark measuring alignment with biblical values. The methodology screens out companies which it believes to be involved in immoral activities such as abortion, pornography, human trafficking and other issues of concern for faith-based investors.

The model goes further by ranking the eligible companies according to their positive effects on customers, communities, workplaces and the world.

IBD is constructed via a cellular approach divided among four maturity tranches placing 25 issues in each tranche. Inspire allows only investment grade debt to be eligible for index inclusion while giving priority to secured debt from among the capital structure.

The index is equally weighted, rebalanced quarterly, and calculated on a total return basis in US dollars.

The fund has a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.61%.

The fund complements Inspire’s existing two funds, the Inspire Global Hope Large Cap ETF (NYSE: BLES) and Inspire Small/Mid-Cap Impact ETF (NYSE: ISMD) which are also driven by the firm’s Impact Score methodology and provide exposure to global large-cap and US small- and mid-cap equities respectively. Each fund also has a TER of 0.61%.

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